World Cancer Day aims to further ‘Close The Care Gap’ amid positive progress for Scottish research
3rd February 2023
The annual awareness day on 4 February aims to inspire action and drive momentum behind a three-year campaign to better understand and recognise inequities in cancer care around the globe.
Close The Care Gap is the 2023 theme and focuses on “uniting our voices and taking action” - celebrating real-world progress and building “stronger alliances and innovative new collaborations.”
Helping to fulfil that aim in Scotland, figures from NHS Research Scotland (NRS) show that cancer studies across Scotland are recovering well following the pandemic. This year (October 2021 to September 2022) there were 500 cancer studies active during the year – 33 more than the previous year, with over 900 additional patients taking part in clinical cancer studies.
This is important work – an estimated two out of five people in Scotland develop cancer in their lifetime. Around half of Scottish people diagnosed with cancer will survive for more than 10 years – a figure that has doubled in the last 40 years.
Robust research remains vital to accelerating this positive progress. Scotland’s highly developed research infrastructure – including clinical research networks, data safe havens and accredited tissue biorepositories – continues to support the delivery of high-quality cancer research across Scotland.
Taken together, it means a collective push to build stronger foundations for cancer studies, both now and in the future and supports the UK vision for clinical research (launched in 2021) to build on existing research strengths, work collaboratively, and ensure everyone can benefit from advances in healthcare.
Professor David Cameron, NRS Cancer Research Champion and Professor of Oncology at the University of Edinburgh, said: “It is great to see positive progress in both volume of cancer studies and patient recruitment.
“The pandemic slowed the progress of cancer research in some instances, but Scotland’s commitment and expertise in clinical research shines through, and clinical research activity continues to increase.”
Just this month, it was announced that Scotland’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre’s (ECMC) based in Glasgow and Edinburgh will share £4million in funding to allow new, experimental treatments, including immunotherapies and cell therapies to be developed, for a wide variety of cancers especially those that particularly affect the Scottish population.
The funding will also help to improve existing treatments, especially through targeting therapies more precisely to the patient’s tumour, supporting trials across a wide range of treatments from innovative drug therapies to the latest advances in radiotherapy treatment.
Continued focus on cancer research remains a priority for both the Chief Scientist Office and NHS Research Scotland; and research, innovation and use of data were raised as priorities in the recent consultation of the Scottish Government ‘Cancer Strategy: draft vision, aims, and priority areas with a new 10-year cancer strategy and three-year action plan due to be published this spring.
Professor David Cameron adds, “It cannot be understated just how much trials have shaped the landscape of cancer testing and treatments available in Scotland for decades. Whilst the past few years have understandably been challenging, research is fundamentally at the core of a modern health system.
“The strategic policy landscape combined with investment in research infrastructure are supporting our aims to emerge from the pandemic stronger, and to adapt and innovate in our approach to cancer research.
“We want to ensure that any patient in Scotland affected by this life-changing disease can contribute to, and have the possibility of benefitting from, vital cancer research. World Cancer Day serves as a reminder of the enduring power of collaboration and collective action.”
For more information on NRS Cancer, visit www.nrs.org.uk/cancer
To find active cancer clinical trials visit www.bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk and search by condition, drug or location.
Join the conversation this World Cancer Day at www.worldcancerday.org or find the campaign on:
- Twitter using #WorldCancerDay #CloseTheCareGap
- Facebook at World Cancer Day - Home | Facebook
- Instagram at World Cancer Day (@worldcancerday) • Instagram photos and videos